The "Long Tom" didn't fly, but it's spirit soared Tuesday at the , a living tribute to those who served during the Vietnam era.
The long-range 155mm howitzer, with a range of some 14 miles, was dedicated at the museum before a crowd of veterans Tuesday. The canon was flanked by Vietnam era vehicles and an F-105 Thunderchief, a fighter jet that saw extensive service in the Vietnam War.
U.S. Rep. D-Huntington, gave the keynote speech at Tuesday's event, saying there is no way way to properly thank the men and women of the armed forces.
"But I want my country to never forget the veterans of our wars when they come home," Israel said. "The lesson they can draw from these pieces of history are lasting reminders of our obligation to remember of veterans when they return."
The Long Tom was first used during World War II and was still effective as the muscle behind American fire bases through the Vietnam conflict.
The Thunderchief was actually built at Republic Airport and finished on the tarmac where it sat on Tuesday, museum officials said.
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